Change And Continuity Analysis

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Change and Continuity Essay By Celine Sawiris During the fifteenth century, Africa embraced many different civilizations and many diverse cultures. Many countries in Africa were part of the Muslim world, including Morocco in the west, to Egypt in the east. The West African Kingdoms of Pre-Islamic Ghana, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai persisted in geography and its trade routes but had experienced life-changing choices when a new religion had invaded; Islam. The West African kingdom has experienced many changes to become a real and organized state. The West African Kingdoms of Pre-Islamic Ghana, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai maintained their traditional religion while incorporating key aspects of Islam. Initially, during the Pre-Islamic times, the…show more content…
Trade was the most significant development from Pre-Islamic West Africa through Ghana to the Kingdom of Mali. And Songhai. In the Pre-Islamic times, they developed a class of artisans (jewelry and leather goods, tools and weapons), farmers (made palm wine), and warriors. The King had strict control over trade. He secured allegiances/local loyalty; cattle measured wealth. The Trans-Saharan Berbers brought silk, cotton, beads, mirrors, dates, and salt (the most essential), which they exchanged for gold, ivory, gum, kola nuts, slaves. Also, slave trade has long existed in Africa culturally part of Bantu Africa. One could become a slave if one were punished by if one were in debt then they could sell their children, women, or their selves into slavery. After the introduction of camels to the region in about 300 CE that trade across the Sahara desert became more profitable. The people living between the Sahara desert and the forests in tropical West Africa were in a prime position to take advantage of the increasing trade along the trans-Saharan routes. Located in between two regions that had different products to trade, the ruler of Ghana was able to collect taxes on the trade between people to the north and to the south. The people of the rainforest to the south were willing and able to trade the gold from their mines for the salt they needed. Gold and salt were not the only items exchanged; leather and metal goods, slaves, honey, tools, livestock, horses, textiles, and jewelry also were traded. Similarly to Ghana, Mali took advantage of its location to control the gold and salt trade. A tax upon this trade was an important source of revenue that helped generate Mali’s wealth. The rulers used this wealth to create an army, which included cavalry forces, to conquer other territories. (WHFUA and McKay page

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